Trump won’t probe Hillary Clinton – Aide
President-elect Donald J. Trump repeatedly said Hillary Clinton’s “lies and deception” rivaled Watergate. He called her “Crooked Hillary.” His most rabid fans chanted it over and over again at huge campaign rallies: “Lock her up!”
The New York Times reports that on Tuesday, Mr. Trump essentially said: “never mind,” signaling that he does not intend to pursue investigations into his rival’s use of a private email server or the financial operations at the Clinton family’s global foundation.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, Kellyanne Conway, the former Trump campaign manager and a senior adviser to his transition, said the president-elect wanted to “move beyond the issues of the campaign” and confirmed that Mr. Trump did not want his promised Clinton investigations to take place.
“If Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing,” Ms. Conway said.
The decision may help Mr. Trump focus on his agenda once he moves into the Oval Office in January, without the potential distraction of an unprecedented legal inquiry by a winning presidential candidate against the person he vanquished.
But it could deeply disappoint many of the voters whose anger against Mrs. Clinton he helped stoke throughout a bitter and divisive campaign. During the second debate between the two candidates, Mr. Trump turned to Mrs. Clinton and vowed that “if I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception.”
And the new president’s decision is also likely to frustrate investigators at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who are fiercely protective of their independence to follow the facts that they uncover. A declaration from Mr. Trump that he wanted inquiries about Mrs. Clinton to stop could be seen as unwarranted presidential meddling into an F.B.I. investigation.
Although the email investigation is closed, the F.B.I. still has an open inquiry into the Clinton Foundation. That inquiry was begun after the publication in 2015 of the book “Clinton Cash,” which asserted that some foreign entities gave money to the foundation in return for State Department favors when Mrs. Clinton was in office. The Clintons have denied those assertions.
If, as president, Mr. Trump ordered the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to close the inquiry, Mr. Comey could choose to rebuff him. To insulate F.B.I. directors from political pressure, they are given a ten-year term. The president can fire a director for cause, as President Bill Clinton did in 1993 after a Department of Justice investigation uncovered ethical abuses by Director William S. Sessions.
Word of Mr. Trump’s intentions regarding Mrs. Clinton came as the president-elect began another day of interviewing potential cabinet officials. In an early-morning post on Twitter, Mr. Trump said that “great meetings will take place today at Trump Tower concerning the formation of the people who will run our government for the next 8 years,” apparently assuming he will serve two terms.
People close to the transition said Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City who had been a leading candidate to be secretary of state, is now in the running to become the country’s director of national intelligence. That position would put him in charge of coordinating the various military and civilian intelligence-gathering operations.